Evan Smith
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The far left in Britain from 1956
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The term 'the left' in British politics is open to different interpretations. One of the constant features of the British far left is its oscillation between periods of unbridled enthusiasm and periods of profound pessimism, both of which may be seen in the left's analysis of the prevailing socio-economic and political climate. Since the dissolution of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) in 1991, a flourish of studies emerged to examine aspects of communist history. The trajectory of those who left the CPGB varied. Divorcing themselves from party politics, E. P. Thompson and John Saville started The New Reasoner in 1957, which alongside Stuart Hall's Universities and Left Review became the focal point of the first wave of the New Left. This chapter also presents some key concepts discussed in this book.

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Against the grain

The British far left from 1956

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